3 Kings by Zack O'Malley Greenburg
Diddy, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, and Hip-Hop's Multibillion-Dollar Rise

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A wide-ranging survey of the first four decades of hip-hop that vividly brings some of the culture’s biggest success stories into one place.


Tracing the careers of hip-hop's three most dynamic stars, this deeply reported history brilliantly examines the entrepreneurial genius of the first musician tycoons: Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z

Being successful musicians was simply never enough for the three kings of hip-hop. Diddy, Dr. Dre, and Jay-Z lifted themselves from childhood adversity into tycoon territory, amassing levels of fame and wealth that not only outshone all other contemporary hip-hop artists, but with a combined net worth of well over $2 billion made them the three richest American musicians, period. Yet their fortunes have little to do with selling their own albums: between Diddy's Ciroc vodka, Dre's $3 billion sale of his Beats headphones to Apple, and Jay-Z's Tidal streaming service and other assets, these artists have transcended pop music fame to become lifestyle icons and moguls.

Hip-hop is no longer just a musical genre; it's become a way of life that encompasses fashion, film, food, drink, sports, electronics and more - one that has opened new paths to profit and to critical and commercial acclaim. Thanks in large part to the Three Kings-who all started their own record labels and released classic albums before moving on to become multifaceted businessmen-hip-hop has been transformed from a genre spawned in poverty into a truly global multibillion-dollar industry.

These men are the modern embodiment of the American Dream, but their stories as great thinkers and entrepreneurs have yet to be told in full. Based on a decade of reporting, and interviews with more than 100 sources including hip-hop pioneers Russell Simmons and Fab 5 Freddy; new-breed executives like former Def Jam chief Kevin Liles and venture capitalist Troy Carter; and stars from Swizz Beatz to Shaquille O'Neal, 3 Kings tells the fascinating story of the rise and rise of the three most influential musicians in America.

About Zack O'Malley Greenburg

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ZACK O'MALLEY GREENBURG covered hip-hop and finance as a staff reporter for Forbes magazine for nearly three years. His stories took him from the back rooms of New York's Apollo Theatre to the jungles of Sierra Leone. He has also written for The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Dan's Papers, among others. He lives in New York City.
Published March 6, 2018 by Little, Brown and Company. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Business & Economics. Non-fiction
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on Dec 19 2017

A wide-ranging survey of the first four decades of hip-hop that vividly brings some of the culture’s biggest success stories into one place.

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